Whittier Utility Authority

In past years, the City's General Fund received "in lieu fees” from the Enterprise Fund to be consistent with franchise fees paid by privately owned utilities. For example, exclusive franchise haulers for solid waste collection pay a franchise fee that becomes revenue to the General Fund. In order to be fair and consistent throughout the various service areas in the City, the City’s own waste collection service area paid a comparable “in lieu fee” to the General Fund. In this way, all City rate payers were contributing to General Fund programs regardless of whether their waste was collected by City staff or a private contractor. Similar conditions exist with water and sewer systems. However, changes in California State law and court decisions prevented the City from collecting “in lieu fees” from the City’s rate payers through the Enterprise Fund. In order to maintain a fair system and comply with the law, the City established in 2002 the Whittier Utility Authority (WUA), a joint powers agency that can make lease payments to the City's General Fund in recognition of the value of the City’s utility infrastructure assets. These lease payments effectively replace the General Fund revenue lost when “in lieu fees” became unavailable.

Key Goals:

  • Assume that all City residents and businesses share the same benefits and bear the same burdens associated with utility services delivered by exclusive private providers.
  • Maintain a fair and consistent system of user fees for utility services regardless of whether the utility services are provided by City staff or through exclusive franchise agreements with contractors.
  • Assist with the financial stability of the City’s General Fund by making lease payments through the WUA, thus leveraging the value of the City’s utility infrastructure.
  • Manage groundwater pumping rights in the Main Basin and Central Basin to assure the future availability of water to our consumers while at the same time maximizing the value of those groundwater-pumping rights for all City residents and business.